May 2008

One Family’s Personal Finance Tale, May edition

Posted by on May 30, 2008 in Mom2KG Columns, Uncategorized

On Monday, I speculated that oil prices may be subject to a bubble rather than real fundamentals. Sure enough, oil prices has fallen back to $126/barrel from its high of $134/barrel based partially on the belief that the prices are not warranted based on supplies and retail demand. I will continue to blog on oil [...]

Should I be worried if my stock didn’t increase its dividend?

Posted by on May 29, 2008 in Investment Information

It is reporting season for the banks; historically famous for service fees, cozy hours and annual dividend increases. But should you be worried if your bank, or any stock for that matter, doesn’t increase its dividends when it is regularly does? It depends. In the absence of context, a dividend increase is a good thing. [...]

Why large mutual funds under-perform the market

Posted by on May 28, 2008 in Investment Advice

Statistics show that the over-whelming majority of mutual funds under-perform the general stock market index; a study found 78% of actively managed mutual funds lagged the Vanguard 500 Index fund (which tracks 500 large cap stock in the U.S.). Why? The explanation usually given is that mutual funds, even high-flying ones, eventually “revert to the [...]

How to get the best real estate deals in a down market

Posted by on May 27, 2008 in Real Estate

Perhaps this topic seems self-evident with the answer being “any offer in a down real estate market is a good offer.” However, real estate has a very emotional attachment to its owners and, despite what the real estate market indicates, vendors will fight you tooth and nail on price because they think their house is [...]

Is Oil really worth more than $130/barrel?

Posted by on May 26, 2008 in Investment Information

The Toronto Stock Exchange Composite Index, which is a de facto proxy for commodity prices if you removed RIM and the financial stocks, hit over 15,000 recently due in large part to the run up in oil prices to over $130/barrel. Several analysts have now hopped abroad the “here comes $200/barrel” train in recent weeks. [...]

How much should a wedding present cost?

Posted by on May 23, 2008 in Misc.

I have been invited to a wedding next month from a pretty close friend (he doesn’t read this blog- I think). I like going to weddings; weddings have a “this is your life” feel to it (and, if you think about it, the only other time you have a “this is your life” experience is [...]

Would you invest in Facebook?

Posted by on May 22, 2008 in Investment Products

Let’s pretend for a second that Facebook decided it needed other investors besides Microsoft and offered you the opportunity to invest in it. Would you? I am a Facebook user like a lot of my friends even though I am not exactly in Facebook’s prime demographic. I often describe Facebook as either “On-line Booty Call” [...]

I am back tomorrow…

Posted by on May 21, 2008 in Uncategorized

No, I didn’t fall into a hole this weekend. Through some strange glitch, I got locked out of my own blog (technology 1, Luddite 0). Problem fixed. Back tomorrow to complain about Facebook….

After Oil…wind power?

Posted by on May 16, 2008 in Investment Products

If you believe the media, oil has now hit a price point where it is beginning to change our behavior: we drive less, buy smaller cars, car-pool etc. which means less consumption and a return to some semblance of more normal pricing (one hopes). But the general public continues to pour money into oil stock, [...]

How NOT to get approved for a loan

Posted by on May 15, 2008 in Resources

A friend of mine runs a business loaning money to businesses. Every once in a while, he asks me to baby-sit a file for him or to help him interview a potential borrower (I don’t loan the money, my job is to vet the candidates who needs loans if he is really busy and I [...]